Did anyone manage to see the documentary on the 60s singing family group, the Cowsills, on Showtime tonight?
I Love The Flower Girl
I don't get Showtime. Did they mention any of the deaths within the group? One was lost to Katrina.
The Cowsills rocked. The DeFranco Family sucked.
[quote]I don't get Showtime. Did they mention any of the deaths within the group? One was lost to Katrina.
Susan Cowsill lives in New Orleans and performs around town (she's really good). Her brother Barry was living with her on and off around the time of Katrina and went missing after the storm. They found his body months later. Her brother Billy died too, but I'm not sure how or why.
Her brother Billy, who died in Katrina and who was identified by his dental records, was found on the same day his brother died.
The alky demanding father used to sexually abuse the 11 year old girl and when she complained to her mother, her mother banished her from the house.
The mom died of emphysema at 54. I need to add her name to the thread of people who died of cigarettes. And the eldest son suffers from it too.
Wasn't the film "A Mighty Wind" based on them?
Wow, didn't know the mom died so young. So, only half of the Cowsills have died?
I loved Hair and The Flower girl. Also, Love American Style.
Eccentric family. The lived in a 23 room mansion in Newport, RI when they started out. The street was named Cowsill Lane.
[quote] Wasn't the film "A Mighty Wind" based on them?
No, " The Partridge Family" was based on them.
Susan Cowsill used to be in a duo with Vicki Peterson of the Bangles and they both ended up in the Continental Drifters, based in New Orleans. I used to see them locally. They were quite good - Susan C. was married to Peter Holsapple at the time and he was in the band, too. They got divorced. Vicki Peterson married one of the Cowsill brothers.
Did not know she (Susan) was abused by dad, although she comes off as a hot mess.
I felt so sorry for them. What an asshole alcoholic father.
There vocal harmonies are incredible. One of the best vocal groups on record.
The brother who went missing during Katrina had mental health issues and is believed to have suicided.
[quote]Her brother Billy, who died in Katrina and who was identified by his dental records, was found on the same day his brother died.
Barry died in Katrina. Bill -- who sang lead on "The Rain, the Park and Other Things" -- died of emphysema on the same day as Barry's memorial service. He was really cute when they hit it big.
Bill and Bob were the eldest founders and songwriters with the best solo voices, but…
Barry (wearing the tie in this TV special) was the cutest, most charismatic, and best dancer in the group. He started by playing drums, and then moved to bass when younger brother John joined the band taking on the drums.
Barry was so talented that he was in the original band before Mom, Sis, and even older brother Paul, who all joined later when they were signed to MGM. Once the teen popularity set in, he was targeted to be the "Donny Osmond" of his group, with hopes of facing him off against brother John to compete for tween popularity. But things change as one grows and some cute boys don't make a clean transition. Donny Osmond and the Jacksons did.
Poor Richard, Bob’s twin, must have been tone deaf, as he got stuck being the “road manager” never setting foot in front of the cameras. During the filming of the TV special, he was away with the Armed Forces in Vietnam.”
Actually, during Prime Time lockout, I found this bit about Richard in YouTube:
"...Billy [was kicked out from the group by his Dad] for smoking weed. Sounds preposterous, but it is true.
Richard, who is Bob's twin, had a stuttering problem as a kid so that kept him out of the band. As for being booted out the house, Richard claimed that at 18 he simply would not stand for anymore of his father's abuse which according to Richard was severe on all of them including throwing one kid through a glass door, burning another with a cigarette, and routine beatings with fists..."
(John says these claims are not true. Richard says John was too young to have perceived what was going on and is in denial)
Became a tween fan over lockout "The Cowsills!" EEEEEEEEEE
Oops - just noticed that during lockout, r18/r19 found the same clips I did. Sorry for the repeat!
The documentary will be on again tonight at 11pm ET on Showtime Showcase.
Just finished watching -- very sad but you saw their love for each other. The footage of poor, sick Billy was heartbreaking. I also felt for Richard and the way he was shut out of things even as a middle-aged man.
Thanks for the tip, OP. Just watched it. Very interesting. I didn't know much about them...for some reason, I always thought they were British.
Watched the documentary on Showtime yesterday. Thanks for starting the thread to alert me to its existance.
Fascinating story. Am too young to know the band in the 60s. But when I have heard The Rain, the Park and Other Things on oldies stations, I really liked it.
And of course, I loved the Partridge Family as a kid. I vaguely knew the series was based on a real life family.
Disturbing to see how bad Billy was before he died. But sure am glad they got that interview prior to his death.
And I gotta say, I agree. What 16 year old boy would want his mother and his little sister in his rock and roll band? But it was the mom and sisters presence that made them stand out in the 60s.
Am I the only one who felt a bit uncomfortable with micro-skirted and baby doll-pantied 10-year old little Susan Cowsill riding Buddy Ebsen's leg like a pony at the end of that 1969 TV special?
Maybe it was all innocent but there was too much touchy touchy between Gramps and Susie.
That household sounds like it would have been hell to grow up in. Father cursing and beating up his sons, trying to have sex with his 10 year old daughter. It's a wonder the kids turned out as well as they did -- all that dysfunction within the family plus the pressure of being in the national spotlight as pop stars.
And the father shipped son Richard off to Viet Nam for smoking pot?! Of course in the late 60s, the image was that long haired hippies were the only ones smoking pot. So, a clean cut looking guy like Richard smoking weed must have really upset the control freak father.
I thought it was Billy who was kicked out of the group for smoking pot and Richard who, as the outsider, simply just got out of there and into the army as fast as he could.
It's not for lack of bread...
I just watched the Showtime special. Man it was hard to watch. They were amazingly talented and put under so much stress as kids and teens. Abuse physical and mental, sexual from the father on his only daughter. The father lost all of the kids money and the kids got nothing ($20 million). The boys and daughter were SO very hot as teens but damn, none of them aged well. Really sad show to watch!
Susan and John look OK for their early 50s, but yeah, the others look rough. Ma Cowsill looked pretty haggard too, considering she was only in her late 30s in the kids' heyday.
r29 Yes, I got it backwards. The father shipped Richard off to Viet Nam. Wouldn't let him join the group, despite Billy saying he was good.
Can you imagine being the only member of the family not in the singing group? Must have done some number on his head.
Father got into a fight with Billy after finding out he had smoked pot. Things escalated, father tried to hit Billy in a restaurant, police arrested the father. Next day, Billy received papers saying was fired from the group.
And was essentially fired from the family too. That's got to do a number on his head. No wonder he ended up on drugs.